The Parenthood has joined calls today for urgent action from all political parties to invest more in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and parental leave as a significant step towards realising gender equity and a future in which all children have the opportunity to thrive.
The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said, “It has never been clearer that now is the time for Australian leaders to take action to address gender inequity.
“Words and incremental change are insufficient. Reforming early childhood education and care represents a profoundly powerful opportunity to improve the safety and security of women in Australia while also setting children up to realise their potential.
“Access to affordable, quality early childhood education and care gives families the freedom to choose what works best for them. Under the current system too many families don’t have choice and it’s mums who end up paying the price.
“Reforming early learning to address the workforce crisis in a female-dominated sector will also shift the dial for women.
“The pandemic has made clear the extent to which we rely upon Australians who work in valuable caring roles and they deserve respect and decent pay.
“A universal, high quality, affordable early childhood education and care system would transform the life of women, boost living standards by returning money to household budgets and play a massive role is fixing the gender pay gap – not to mention the positive impact on children's development and education.
“The high cost of early childhood education and care is a barrier that parents in Australia want removed and I’ll bet they are willing to vote for a policy to change that.
“Better paid parental leave is also critical to give Australian parents the opportunity to choose how they juggle their caring responsibilities with paid work.
“All parents need to be able to care for and provide for their children. Love alone doesn’t feed a child or pay the bills.”